'Huge case backlog is justice system's way of saying we don't care': senior lawyer

19 January 2021, 18:42

By Fiona Jones

This senior lawyer tells LBC that the huge backlog of cases due to Covid is the justice system's way of saying 'we don't care' about the people of this country.

The backlog of cases in England and Wales is so extreme it could have a lasting impact on justice, a watchdog reports.

New figures show that there are currently 54,000 unheard cases due to the pandemic with some already being scheduled for 2022.

Senior Partner at consentlawyers.com Dr Ann Olivarius told LBC, "Things have been not good and they're getting steadily worse.

"If you have a country like Great Britain and you don't have a criminal or civil justice system that's responsive, that's essentially not working, you have a problem.

Read more: Backlog of cases in our courts is a serious emergency, says David Lammy

"You can't be a country that values its people when you actually don't have a rule of law that works. If people cannot file cases, if people have been hurt criminally and they can't get a hearing, they can't get justice, then they cannot heal. The problem is not solved."

Dr Olivarius branded the two year backlog for some cases as a "huge" time to wait "if you have been victimised."

"Britain is saying our court system is just not going to be attentive, we really don't care.

"Justice delayed is actually justice denied."

Dr Oliviarius explained that cases can be filed but lawyers "rarely hear anything" back as people from the justice system are not responding to attempts at communication.

"We're stymied, we have to say to our people I'm sorry, we are trying to get you justice, we're trying to get a response, but nobody's picking up and nobody's doing anything on that."

In the US, there are small court cases that have been happening over video call which have moved things along, she said, adding that they are "tons cheaper."